Tag Archives: developer

Being Proven Right Takes Time

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One of the biggest frustrations with real estate consulting is having to wait to find out whether you’re right or wrong. Because most development projects, especially multi-unit rental properties, take years to get approved, built, and leased, if you as a consultant give advice to a developer you won’t find out for 3 or 4 years whether your advice was… Read more »

Do Rentals ‘Work’?

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Several times during my 15+ years in the rental housing industry I’ve been told that “rentals don’t work”, usually by people who work in accounting or finance, and sometimes by people who are new to the rental housing industry. Their basic assertion is that they’ve “done the math” and found rentals “aren’t profitable,” and therefore it makes no sense to… Read more »

Back From The Future: Leasing Services

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I’m just back from the future! When I started in this industry leasing services were a big thing, a major business element for property management firms, and a significant source of revenue for many consultants. Vacancies were high in the less desirable buildings—can you imagine 5% or 10% vacant in Toronto? That’s what it was like, and landlords were willing… Read more »

Three Questions Developers Always Ask

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In my experience as a consultant developers with a new rental building either in the planning stages or under construction almost always ask three important questions. Their first question is almost always “What rents can we get?” Rents make up the bulk of revenues and if rents aren’t high enough then the proposed project might not make sense financially. The… Read more »

What I Would Have Done If I Were A Retail REIT

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2020 was a roller coaster for large parts of the country’s economy, particularly for retailers and retail real estate. When the global pandemic spread to Canada early in the year and it became obvious that large parts of the economy would close or be put on hold, it was immediately clear to me that retail REITs in particular could be… Read more »

Renewing Toronto’s Old-Stock Rental Towers

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On Christmas day 2020 the Toronto Star published an article describing the findings of a group of US real estate experts from the Urban Land Institute who examined some of Toronto’s old-stock rental towers. The newspaper article can be read via the link below (it’s behind a paywall). https://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2020/12/25/us-housing-experts-paint-dire-picture-of-upkeep-availability-of-private-rental-apartment-units-in-toronto.html The experts found that it is essential to keep Toronto’s rental… Read more »

“Sophisticated Investors Are Desperate To Buy”

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The Globe & Mail newspaper recently (December 6th, 2020) published an article entitled “Sophisticated investors are desperate to buy Canada’s apartment buildings; values soar despite Covid-19”. You can read the article via the link below (unless they’ve moved it behind a paywall): https://www.theglobeandmail.com/business/article-sophisticated-investors-are-desperate-to-buy-canadas-apartment/ This is a great article and nearly every paragraph contains something informative. I strongly recommend reading it… Read more »

BILD’s New Report on Municipal Approvals

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Altus Group recently prepared a report for the Building Industry and Land Development Association, or BILD, which you can download the report from the link below: https://bildgta.ca/advocacy/reports According to Altus, the report is intended to “undertake a study of several factors that may be contributing to housing affordability issues in major housing markets across the Greater Toronto Area, such as… Read more »

You Only Get One Chance To Develop Land

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You only get one chance to develop land. Recently, I was talking to a friend in the industry who, thanks to heavy traffic on the QEW, drove along the Oakville section of Dundas Street (Highway 5) for the first time in a year or two. Locals will know that this part of north Oakville is being rapidly developed as the… Read more »

The Universal Rental Building

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Back in 2014 I was going to dinner with a friend in the industry and I drove past one of those highway interchanges that allow major arterial roads access. In the suburban GTA most highway interchanges have one or two or three hotels clustered around them. That evening I realized that all of those hotels are basically the same: eight… Read more »